Cascon Case PAN: Panama 1964

Status Quo Side: USA

Non-Status Quo Side: Panama

Region: Western Hemisphere

Conflict Type: Interstate

Issues in Dispute: Resources, Strategic, Territory

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Phase 1: 1962

Nationalist sensitivities about the US Canal Zone Agreement granting ownership "in perpetuity," had been manifested since 1959 in various "flag" incidents. They were exacerbated by the failure of 1962 Presidential-level talks, apprehension over proposals for a new sea-level canal, contrasting living standards of American "Zonians" and Panamanians, and forthcoming Panamanian elections. The raising of a forbidden US flag by Zonian students led to a Panamanian student flag response on January 9. As the Panamanian students were leaving the Zone, disorders occurred, mobs of rioters poured in from Panama, and Zonal Police lost control.

Phase 2: 1/9/1964

US troops, facing grenades, rifle fire and home-made bombs reportedly provided by Cuban-trained provocateurs, used gunfire and tear gas to clear the Zone. Casualties and damage from two days of violence were heavy. Panama broke diplomatic relations, charged armed aggression and demanded Canal Treaty revision. Aggression charges were heard in the UN and OAS.

Phase 5: 4/3/1964

Agreement was reached to restore relations. New treaties drafted in 1967 were subsequently disowned by Panama.

Settled: 9/7/1977

Treaties were signed transferring canal control to Panama by the year 2000.

Subsequent developments:

In 1989 US forces invaded Panama to arrest President Manuel Noriega on drug charges.

Cascon Home Copyright 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton